What are Class "B" Dealers?
Class “B” dealers are licensed to purchase and sell animals to research. The law has unfortunately allowed “B” Dealers to obtain animals for re-sale from other “B” dealers, shelters and from persons who have bred and raised the animals themselves.
However, as LCA proved in our historic undercover investigation, “B” dealers routinely violate the law by acquiring animals from fraudulent sources and abusing and neglecting them, as documented in HBO’s “Dealing Dogs”. These animals are often stolen pets, strays or animals obtained under false pretenses and deception through “free to good home” ads. It is virtually impossible to know the true history of an animal acquired by a Class “B” dealer. Each time a Class “B” dealer sells an animal to a research lab, a strong possibility exists that he or she is a lost or stolen family pet.
“B” Dealer Facts
- Nearly two million companion animals are stolen each year. Many of these animals are sold to research laboratories, dog-fighting rings or puppy mills, where they are abused and often killed.
- Many of these pets find their way to research laboratories through USDA licensed Class “B” animal dealers. For a $10 fee, anyone can apply for a USDA Class “B” dealer license.
- Class “B” dealers obtain animals from state, county or city owned and operated animal pounds or shelter, (this is called pound seizure), other USDA licensed “B” dealers and various random sources. However, “B” dealers also obtain animals from “bunchers".
Bunchers fraudulently obtain animals through “free to good home” ads, preying on unsuspecting people who can no longer care for their companions. They make promises of a good home and tender care, only to turn around and sell the animals, sometimes the same day, to Class “B” dealers. In attempts to gather as many animals as possible for sale to research institutions, bunchers also frequently steal family pets directly from their owners.
Remaining “B” Dealers
As of 2009 there were over 1000 Class “B” Dealers. The majority of these dealers sell “random source” animals wholesale, to other brokers, pet stores and auctions. Only 7 of these “B” dealers sell their animals to research laboratories. This is a fraction of what existed decades ago but still 7 too many.
Below is a list of remaining “B” Dealers. Bold font denotes those currently under investigation for apparent violations of the Animal Welfare Act by the USDA.
32-B-0045 Mark and Penny Lynch LBL Kennels (Reelsville)
34-B-0001 Roberts and James Woudenberg R &R Research (Howard City)
34-B-0002 Fred Hodgins, Inc. Hodgins Kennels (Howell and Fowlerville)
34-B-0210 D & M Resources (Standwood)
41-B-0017 Kenneth Schroeder (Wells)
31-B-0104 Robert Perry (Mt. Sterling)
56-B-0109 George S. Ward Whale Branch Animal Services (Seabrook)
Laws Don’t Protect Our Companion Animals
Currently, the only piece of legislation standing between family pets and the unscrupulous “B” dealers who sell them to be tortured in research facilities is the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Enacted in 1966, the AWA requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for most warm-blooded animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially or exhibited to the public. Unfortunately, the enforcement of the AWA is completely inadequate and millions of family pets have ended up in research facilities as a result.
Class “B” dealers have been shown to regularly and willingly do everything in their power to ensure family pets are sold to be tortured in research laboratories. The monetary incentives associated with selling lost and stolen family pets motivate “B” dealers to violate countless laws. Records are falsified, evidence of ownership, such as dog tags, are purposefully destroyed and no attempt is made to reunite microchipped animals with their families. Instead, these companion animals are kept in often squalid conditions before being sold for use in experimentation.
The enforcement of the AWA is the responsibility of the Animal Care division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Government documents show the laws of the AWA severely lack enforcement and APHIS is unable to ensure animals are well cared for. Additionally, violators who are penalized for their infringements consider monetary penalties an accepted cost of conducting business, rather than a disincentive for violating existing laws. As a result, violations of the AWA, including the falsification of records -- the only current way to ensure that family pets do not enter the research animal trade -- continue undeterred.
In a notice released on February 8, 2012, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest funder of biomedical research in the US, announced that it will prohibit the use of NIH funds to procure cats from USDA Class B dealers after October 1, 2012 and will prohibit the use of dogs from Class B dealers by 2015.
Learn more about: Pound Seizure